The works featured on the USO’s March 3 concert provide a fascinating glimpse into compositional intent and musical substance. Beethoven’s so-called Leonore Overture No. 1 – actually the third of the four overtures that he composed for his only opera, Fidelio – sets the mood for the ensuing rescue drama without foretelling the plot. Walter Piston’s Three New England Sketches – Seaside, Summer Evening, and Mountains – poetically evoke “the impressions, reminiscences, even dreams, that pervade the otherwise [strictly] musical thought of one New England composer.” Samuel Barber’s Second Essay for Orchestra forms a remarkably concentrated, compelling musical drama. Prokofiev’s seventh and final symphony, which Shostakovich praised as “joyful, lyrical, and delightful”, exhibits the composer’s final (and perhaps politically motivated) goal “to serve his fellow men, to beautify human life, and show the way to a radiant future.” USO Music Director Barbara Schubert conducted this concert in Mandel Hall at the University of Chicago, 03 March 2012.
This recording not endorsed or affiliated with the University of Chicago or any of it's staff.